Players in rpg’s don’t read the handouts, or read the GM notes about the setting or home rules, how much homework should they do?


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Random Encounter

Harrigan, Rory, Vece and FeelinGoodLouis comment on Delta Green Initiative

Harrigan says this:

Love this idea! Let the BS community know how it can help, from crafting the pregens to playing in the games to cheering from the sidelines. This should be a blast to listen to you discuss and dissect.

One piece of unsolicited advice: pick an adventure that lands the PCs in a pretty remote or closed-in location. If it’s a totally wide-open thing, you will undoubtedly go in very different directions…

Rweston offers some suggestions on what to call it:

What should we call this:“Delta Green Experience”;“Delta Green Experiment”“Delta Green BS”“Gaming & DG”

Which of you will be Delta & which is Green?

ok… I’ll stop now…

Young0ne2 has this to say about it:

Calling BS, but in a good way, I choose to throw my two cents your way, for what and how you should play.

I think Delta Green is a good middle ground for you gentlemen to do this little experiment with. For one, it’s a modern RPG with simple rules that I think an inexperienced player would be able to quickly and easily grok. With the systems popularity you can even get super slimmed down reference sheets for your players too so they know what options are available to them and how they apply.

Second, the vast variety of adventures and stories that are available could lead to some interesting player and GM situations. Obviously, to whomever joins in on this experiment their might have to be a conversation about mature content and what that means. Delta Green is not necessarily all about blowing people away, but does tend to deal with many aspects of horror. Psychological, Body, and helplessness to name a few.

On the subject of players, both the B and the S teams will be in for an interesting experience. One will get to experience the controlled chaos that is Brett, while the other will get to experience smooth Improve that is Sean. But, besides opinion, and whatever “success” is measured by, how will we know what each B & S did well?

I purpose that you gentlemen introduce a control variant. 1 player that is the same in both your groups. An individual that has or has not ran or played doesnt matter, as they will be experiencing (in theory) the same adventure twice. Maybe choose one person together, maybe don’t, maybe have the BS-comuunity figure this out on its own and throw a lamb at you both in secret, with the same name?

So with that out of the way, what to play, What to play indeed. 3-4 players, 4-6 sessions, +/- 4 hours each. Hmmm Given those parameter’s, and whatever is session zeroed of what have you, These are my suggestions:

Reverberations: A nice nod to the Old Delta Green while being a great starting point for new and old players. Easily run within 4-6 sessions especially if the group jams together like Peanut butter and jelly. Fun twist and turns and a great way to see whos Delta Green worth.

BlackSAT: Delta Green IN SPACE (space…space…space)An adventure intentionally designed for people who have no knowledge of Delta Green, and used as a recruitment opportunity. Might take a little reading but is easily doable in 4-6, 4hr sessions. Don your Space Suit and get ready to see the void face-to-face.

FULMINATE: Who doesnt enjoy a nice family trip to Yellow Stone? How else are you going to celebrate the 4th of July. OH, and theirs this kid who disappeared like back in the 70’s and wants a hug or something.

BS P.S.: Sean, TECHNICALLY speaking, yes, Impossible Landscapes is the first full fledged Campaign for Delta Green: The RPG, HOWEVER, if you buy the collection books (Night at the Opera, Blacksites, Control Group, Etc.) the adventures are set up and given a suggested play order in the front of those books for a more “campaign” style of play. ( that being said the order in Night at the Opera has been unofficially changed for a more, DELTA GREEN feel. Boys over at the Green Box podcast talked about it once.

~with love, as always~~vcy~

And FeelinGoodLouis chimes in:

think it would also help if @Fafhrd & @sean were to share their respective game prep with the BSer’s. I believe the different modes of preparation can significantly affect the play of the game.

Ya know, gun slinging wild west type vs. library card carrying bookworm type.

Feelin Good about Game Prep

Mr. Underhill comments on Dedicated vs Serious RPG’er

Great podcast guys. I really enjoyed it. Although after you got done I still dont know if I am a dedicated or a serious RPG’er.

I wanted to touch quickly on the part of your podcast dealing with the post from Chris Spivey about his Harlem Unbound RPG and how to make it as an independent.

Now first, I listened to your podcast last night on the drive home so I didnt have the chance to make notes and I have not reviewed the session since then to get all my facts straight so please forgive me if I repeat something you said or if I get some details wrong.

I am coming at this from an obviously outsiders prospective. I have never written an RPG and have only played D&D and Pathfinder (I did some Traveller and Top Secret back in the mid-80’s but just a few sessions of each so I dont count that). Having said that here is what I see.

It seems that many ‘independents’ want to have the success of the big boys, but they are really running a hobby business. At least that looks to be they way they treating it. True, you can run a ‘successful’ Kickstarter but it seems that most of the time I hear that the Kickstarters really dont make money but rather cover expenses and provide exposure for the product.

If you want the success of the big boys then you have to be willing to invest like the big boys. Simple truth is that it takes money to make money.

One issue I have specifically with Chris’ work as it was presented in your podcast is answering the question of what problem is he solving or what need is he meeting with this project? I have not reviewed the sourcebook so I dont know the answers here, but what ‘new’ thing is he bringing to the RPG industry? Does he offer new rules unused anywhere else? That to me really is one of the few differentiators for the industry. If you are using rules or game mechanics found in other ‘sourcebooks’ then how is yours really different?

Does he feel he is targeting an underrepresented demographic? Ok, but are there enough people in that demographic that want to play that way or that game to provide the success he seems to want to achieve? If his thought is that he is targeting all RPG players, then he will waste a lot of money and effort because I am an RPG’er and I am not his target market at all. If there arent elves and dwarves and castles and swords and magic then I am not interested. I might venture out a bit but horror (I thought I heard you say this was a horror game) and real life, modern day settings dont appeal to me. And I am sure that there are others who feel similarly, perhaps not what I like but not interested in deviating from what THEY like.

Now if it were me trying to promote this sourcebook here are a few things I would do.

First, I would be attending at least one convention every month and running as many games of this as I could. I would be promoting my games on all the convention appropriate social media as well as my own. And if people didnt sign up, I would still go and try to round people up in the halls to play. Yup, Covid stopped in person conventions but many tried something virtual and you have to take advantage where you can.

I would even have hard bound copies at the conventions that I could give out to people for free. Not hundreds. Just 10 or so, autographed versions, given to those who take time to play a game or who show genuine interest.

He might even need to consider getting a vendor booth at the conventions to demonstrate his game and collect emails from interested folks who he can then market too. I know, everyone hates to be marketed to. But do you want to build a successful business or do want to have a hobby? Successful business collect information on those who are interested in their products so they can stay in touch and market to them.

Next, you mentioned that he had done some live play streaming. My question here is, was it just him and some friends playing? He needs to go out and get some RPG influencers to join him for a multi session streaming live play. And preferably he needs to have more than one game going at a time with multiple influencers. And the sooner he can have an RPG personality run a game with his material the better.

And then there is pricing. What is he charging and what can he breakout and what can he add later? The big boys have the core books – plural. What is he offering here? What can he do differently? Many people achieve success in business by looking at what the industry norms are and then breaking as many of them as possible.

And dont get me started on the number of people who go into business thinking they have what everyone wants only to discover that no one wants what they have. It just happens. No rhyme or reason.

I dont know Chris nor am I familiar with his work or efforts to promote his work. I wish him nothing but the best and this is in no way meant to be a critique of him or his efforts. Just me sharing my industry outsider thoughts about the subject of success for independent writers/designers.

Keep up the great work guys. As for me, I am going to try and start playing my games at a higher level.

Aaron expresses a bit of gratitude.

Brett and Sean,

It’s the first time I am writing in, sorry for the delay in doing so, but here we are.

I wanted to thank you for all your work. I listen at the gym, driving, and when I am processing range brass for making my own ammo. It is a great way to make the mundane fun. I appreciate the perspective and the third party feedback you provide, which even my own group has benefited from. You both make our community better gamers and more importantly, better people.

We have met a few times at GHC, I brought a bottle of Noble Oak whiskey to the Clarion party in 2019 and look forward to this fall! More spirits will be shared I assure you. I am registered in the Mothership Horror game with Sean and The Hunted with Brett. I look forward to learning about new systems.

Best to you both,


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About the Author
The 'S' of Gaming and BS podcast. Besides producing and hosting the show, Sean enjoys long walks on the beach, running rpg's, and killing player...characters.